Impact stories: beyond the church walls…

Through its Scholars programme, Langham supports Majority World leaders in gaining theological PhDs. Many go on to impact their societies in extraordinary ways. Here is a small snapshot:

1) Relieving poverty and bringing good news in Uganda

Emmanuel (at far left) visits Irene and her family who now have a home, and a glimpse of hope, because of his ministry.
Emmanuel (at far left) visits Irene and her family who now have a home, and a glimpse of hope, because of his ministry.

For Pastor Emmanuel Mukeshimana of Uganda, the most strategic response to the poverty he saw across East Africa was to attend seminary. Why? Because a sustainable response to an urgent issue like poverty is one rooted in Scripture. 

Emmanuel says, “I want to bring God’s truth to the broken beliefs and systems that lead to poverty.”

That’s why, with scholarship support from Langham, he pursued his PhD in theology. He graduated in February 2020. Today, as a Langham Scholar, he is positioned to be an agent of transformation across Uganda and beyond. And he is multiplying others to do the same.

2) Engaging with culture in Macedonia

Kosta Milkov gained his PhD in Patristics (the early church fathers) at Oxford University back in the 90s. He also spearheaded Langham Preaching’s work in his native Macedonia. Kosta set up the Balkan Institute for Faith and Culture in Macedonia in 2011. His vision is for the Institute to help Church and society by connecting the best practices of Christian faith to the immediate context in Macedonia.

John Stott and Kosta Milkov
John Stott with Langham Scholar Kosta Milkov.

It is a neutral, welcoming environment, allowing for human flourishing and discovering God’s goodness in creation. For example, they support local artists by displaying work in a gallery. This provides opportunities for discussion and debate. The Institute also promotes opportunities for young people to engage with faith and culture. You can listen to an interview with Kosta, as he talks about the impact of our founder John Stott in episode four of The Stott Legacy podcast.

3) Dealing with suffering and trauma in Kenya

Gladys Mwiti
Langham Scholar Gladys Mwiti.

After receiving her PhD with support from Langham, Dr Gladys Mwiti returned to Nairobi, Kenya to launch Oasis Africa Counselling Centre. She was responding to the suffering she observed in her community. Today she is a global authority on trauma counselling. It’s work that has put her on the frontlines of tragedies like the Rwandan genocide and Nairobi’s Westgate mall attacks.

Gladys is teaching the Church to not only proclaim that God is good all the time — but to live it out by drawing near to the broken and the suffering. Gladys says “For me, my theme in life is to know Christ and make Him known.” You can hear more from Gladys in Langham US’ podcast, ‘On Mission with Chris Wright‘.

4) A passion to help refugees and trafficking victims

Myrto Theocharous
Langham Scholar Myrto Theocharous

Dr Myrto Theocharous focused on the book of Deuteronomy for her PhD, and now teaches at the Greek Bible College in Athens. She also works with a number of women’s ministries in Athens, including for those trafficked into the sex industry. Dr Myrto and other volunteers offer help and support, set up doctor appointments, offer Christian literature and arrange rescue operations if necessary. 

She also ministers at a centre that serves homeless women, many of whom are refugees. Dr Myrto said: “It has been fascinating to talk with them about how the Bible speaks to them, how it provides comfort.”

A survey from 2017-18 revealed that within 10 years of gaining a PhD, 51% of Langham Scholars start a new ministry, serving 110,732 people annually. These figures are from a study by independent research firm, Excellence in Giving.

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